The “i” Means it’s Mine, Right?

Next month I’ll be in New York for the Future of Web Design, and what does a geek who’s on the wrong side of the pond (when it comes to gadgets) think when he thinks “New York”? Well, I’m a photo geek first and foremost, so I think D300 of course, but not far behind that I think “iPhone“.

The lovely little toy is going for $399 in the states. Although somewhat hastily posted it back in January for €999, it will apparently cost €399 when it comes out over here on November 9th. This side of the pond does have it’s advantages, namely $399 = €285 and makes New York + iPhone purchase a very good deal, right? Well, an American iPhone is locked into the AT&T network. Think about that. Imagine a car that only runs if you fill it up at a Shell station. Now imagine that Shell doesn’t exist in Europe.

Which led me down the dark and narrow alley of iPhone unlocking research…

Any wall a geek can build, an army of geeks can tear apart within a day. I could buy an iPhone, unlock it, and use it over here. However I’d never be able to update the software (Apple updates “brick” unlocked iPhones, turning them into pretty junk) and you’ll violate your warranty, but you can use any provider you want. The legality of “bricking” is pretty questionable, but I’m in no position to sue Apple. It’s also not quite clear if Apple intended to brick unlocked phones, but that’s beside the point.

Not being a true über-geek, and not stupid, I probably won’t buy an iPhone (at least not in the U.S.) and unlock it, even if it’d save me more than €100. I like software updates and warranties. But it does piss me the hell off to think that Apple — a company I generally love to the point of irrationality — will blackmail a loyal fan into buying out of his exisiting mobile contract (not cheap), force me into a contract with T-Mobile although I don’t want one, and will render a device I’d pay $399 for useless if I enable it over here and update its software, which is my right if the damn thing’s mine, isn’t it?

Is anyone out there in a position to sue Apple? I reckon they’ve got it coming this time.


  1. Joel Priddy says:

    Yeah, even with all my knowledge of brand manipulation, and all the crappy things Apple has pulled, and their perpetually shitty environmental record, I can’t help but feel that Apple is my buddy. I love their products, and can’t help but feel, deep in my heart, that they love me.

    That said, the relationship has started to show more and more signs of turning abusive. I’m sure they’ve got a grand plan, and that it’s my fault for not seeing it, but I can only claim that my digital permissions walked into a door so many times before people start to get suspicious!

  2. Dany Schutte says:

    Hey, are you spending any extra days beyond the conference in the States?

  3. Mb. says:

    Hey sis, yep, sure am. The conference is Nov. 8 & 9, and after that I’ll be driving down to D.C. to visit my aunts. Care to visit D.C.?

  4. Dany Schutte says:

    Yes, I do want to meet you in DC. Can you email me Jane’s number? My dad’s phone number is 804-232-5261. My cell phone number will only be working for messages at that point, 415-573-5773.

  5. Mb. says:

    Good thing the telephone number spam bot hasn’t been invented. Yet. Let’s take this to email sis.

  6. mattes says:

    ….calculate the sales tax in nyc (+8.375%), too 😉

  7. Mb. says:

    Okay, so it’s €304 and some small change. Still a savings of over 90 bucks. Tempting, but saving €90 to get a software driven device I can’t update? No thanks.